The arena is located in Wembley Park in London, it is the home of England’s national football team, the FA Cup Final, rugby, live concerts, fund raisers and an international sport venue. But the arena that we know today isn’t the same one that was first constructed in 1923. The history of Wembley Stadium has its fair share of plot twists.
The park was undergoing serious modifications between 1922 and 1923 in preparation for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-25. The stadium was built as part of a larger showpiece set amongst pleasure gardens to lift morale after the First World War and to steer the focus away from the country’s economic problems and it’s naval supremacy being challenged.
The arena was built on the site of another earlier attempt to inspire, Watkin’s Tower, which was never completed. Work began on the 10th of January 1922 and was completed in just ten months after the removal of over 250,000 tons of earth was moved. Many football matches have taken place here and a lot of people have placed bets on such events. If you are interested in putting bets on new football games, you might want to have a look at our football betting tips to help you.
How much did Wembley Stadium Cost to Build?
The stadium cost £750,000 to build and had a capacity of 125,000 people, 30,000 of them seated. Wembley stadium first opened to the public on the 28th of April 1923 by King George V. It was due to be knocked down after the exhibition, but was saved from the wrecking ball by Sir James Stevenson, who had been a part of the organising committee for the Empire exhibition.
By the time the exhibition ended, an entrepreneur known as Arthur Elvin started to buy up all the all the derelict buildings before demolishing them and selling the scrap. The arena had gone into liquidation by this time and was sold to Elvin for a measly £127,000, using a £12,000 downpayment and the rest to be paid over ten years plus interest. After the original owner died, the new owners sold the arena to Elvin to honour the deal he had made with him. They sold it to him for the original price before buying it back off him immediately, with Elvin receiving a huge profit.
Wembley Stadium Events
The first event held at the new Wembley FC was the ‘White Horse’ FA Cup Final. The FA did not sell tickets for the game and as a result, an estimated 240,000-300,000 packed inside the 120,000 capacity venue with a further 60,000 still outside. Order was restored mainly thanks to a Police Officer on a white horse who drove the crowds back. As a result, the walkway to the new arena is named White Horse Bridge.
In addition to club, international and World Cup football, the old Wembley was the host for rugby league’s Challenge Cup final, the 1948 Summer Olympics, motorcycle speedway, stock car racing, rugby union, greyhound racing, American Football, WWE wrestling and music concerts. Famously, it was also the European venue for 1985’s Live Aid concert to promote awareness of the plight of the people of Ethiopia.
Old Wembley Stadium
The old Wembley closed for the last time on the 7th of October 2000, and the stadium and its iconic twin towers were demolished between 2002-03 to make way for the new stadium.
New Wembley Stadium
The New Wembley Stadium was controversial from the start. People from around the world were unhappy that the original twin towers had been demolished, but were further outraged when it was revealed that twin towers would not play a part of the new design. Although the top of one of the twin towers was preserved and relocated to a memorial park on the north side of Overton Close in the St. Raphael’s district, this did little to appease the detractors.
The new arena was to be a bowl design and have a seating capacity of 90,000. In place of the iconic Twin Towers, the new arena would have a partially retractable roof and 440 ft tall, unsupported archway above the stadium.
Demolition of the old Wembley and groundbreaking for the New Wembley began on the 30th September 2002 after a three year delay due to rising costs. The construction was beset with problems with everything from running over budget and over time, the death of a construction worker, the sewerage system buckling due to ground movement and a steel rafter falling causing the evacuation of more than 3,000 construction workers dogging its construction.
Work was finally completed and the arena was handed over to the FA on the 9th March 2007. It had taken almost five years to construct, and went over its estimated build-time by almost two years. The pitch was relaid on more than ten occasions within the first three years of it opening with a number of high profile football players and managers saying it was one of the worst they had ever seen and played on.
The Australian company that built the stadium made significant losses on the project and tried to recoup a lot of this from contractors and subcontractors, the largest claim being for £253 million. In the end, the New Wembley had a final bill of £789 million. The original budget was £458 million.
Wembley Stadium Events
Despite all these setbacks in the history of Wembley Stadium, the new arena has thrived as a venue since it opened.
There have been a number of Wembley Stadium events over the years. Bon Jovi were due to be the first event at the new venue, but due to delays that honour was instead taken by George Michael, who played to 172,000 people over two nights.
It is once again the home of the national football team and hosts the FA Cup final. This arena played a major part on the 2010 Olympics, with the opening and closing ceremonies being held there as well as some of the events.
It is often used as a venue for various types of sporting events. Rugby league, rugby union, the NFL and prime time boxing matches have all been there staged since its reopening.
Music is once again a main attraction at this arena. Various artists have played there since its revamp, including the Live Earth concert in July 2007 to raise awareness of environmental issues, much the same way the old arena had when it hosted Live Aid some 22 years earlier.
There will be plenty more events over the years, including big football games. If you are interested in placing football bets, you might want to have a look at our football betting page.
There have been a number of England fixtures over the years at Wembley Arena. Since there are different football matches going on around the world every single day, there would be far too many fixtures to list. The biggest fixtures that have took place at Wembley would be the Football World Cup.
There will be more England fixtures in upcoming years, as the arena is home to England's FC along with Spurs. Check out the video above to see highlights from England vs Scotland at Wembley.
Wembley Stadium Tickets
If you are looking to buy Wembley Stadium tickets, the very best place to buy them would be the website itself. Here you can buy tickets to all sorts of events, this includes Spurs games, football finals, concerts and more.
The site has more things to do too. You can find out about past events and the history of Wembley Stadium, meetings and events and much more. So why not have a look at the site today?